An apt warning from Revolver:
Texas’s Power Grid Disaster Is Only The Beginning
Record-setting cold and snowfall in Texas has in turn caused dramatic power outages and rolling blackouts across the state. Texans stuck in powered-off apartments with no way to warm themselves have fled to “warming centers.” A few have died from carbon monoxide poisoning trying to warm themselves with a car.
The mess with the Texas power grid is only the beginning. In the years to come, American infrastructure will fail more and more often, as America becomes less capable of maintaining the core elements of a First World country.
Why would America become less First World? That’s a simple question to answer: Because America is making itself less First World.
Which is certainly accurate. Energy issues are only going to increase in frequency in the future, the underlying problems will be left unresolved.
Texas had fought for energy independence for years. But they keep losing to the Feds. Other states have, too. And it’s only going to get worse:
The chairman of the PUC, Donna Nelson, predicted an end to the Texas deregulated electricity market.
“There’s almost nothing in this rule that there could be any other outcome other than the junking of the completive market,” said Nelson.
At issue are new Federal rules to cut pollution from power plants. Each state would have to come up with a plan that would cut carbon pollution, or greenhouse gases, by an average of 30 percent in less than two decades. Texas, with all its refineries and a lot of coal-burning power plants, is the largest producer of greenhouse gases and is being asked to cut more emissions than other states.
“The plan disproportionately impacts Texas and in our opinion it oversteps the law,” said Mac MarFarland, CEO of Luminant, the biggest electricity utility in Texas.
For years, the State of Texas has been filing lawsuits against the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, trying to stop it from enforcing regulations aimed at reducing power plant pollution.
Texas has lost most of the cases, including a major ruling earlier this summer by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court gave the EPA the go-ahead to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. At the PUC hearing, there was testimony that Texas would again file suit over these latest rules.
What would the rules cost electricity consumers? About $20 a month according to one industry estimate.
Not only did it cost the consumers an extra $20 a month, but as we’re now seeing it cost the entire state their non-dependency status. It also cost them their ability to handle black swan events, at all.
The Feds also keep subsidizing the renewable energy market, destroying alternatives from staying in business:
Vistra closing mega coal plant in East Texas
The Monticello power plant, one of Texas’s largest coal-powered plants, will close permanently next year, Vistra Energy announced Friday.
The 1,800 megawatt power plant, which opened more than 40 years ago, is the latest in a string of coal plant closures nationwide as a glut of cheap natural gas and continued advances in solar and wind energy technology continue to depress wholesale power prices.
The announcement comes as Energy Secretary Rick Perry is pushing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to adjust the regulations governing wholesale power markets to try and stop further closure of coal and nuclear power plants, which he says are critical to maintaining a reliable electrical grid.
The former Texas governor is facing opposition from a disparate set of special interests, from the oil and gas industry to environmentalists to wind energy developers, who argue any shift would unfairly give coal and nuclear an advantage over other power sources.
So it ended up that the renewable energy developers got their own advantage in the form of decimating all the alternatives so only they remained. Now, they failed to provide energy and crashed Texas.
Who could have ever expected that to happen?
But without further sarcasm, it’s rather obvious that this chain of action is only going to continue indefinitely in the future. The renewable energy market is a billion-dollar enterprise with federal subsidies to boot, so there’s absolutely no likelihood that this isn’t coming to a city near you.
Welcome to the second-world, bordering on the third-world. With rolling outages and blackouts. Prepare for your future energy crashes.
How do we do that? A few ideas:
- If power goes, so does the fridge and freezer. Keep plenty of non-perishable foods sources. Ideally a 3 month supply per person.
- As always, have on hand water storage and water purification sources.
- Keep a method to cook food should power remain out. Portable camp stove, propane, etc.
- Keep access to lighting sources such as candles, flashlights, and lanterns.
- Generators. Lots of generators.
- Lots of gas for said generators.
- Prepare for an assortment of black swan events. Cover your bases in regards to bugging out, staying in, and hunkering down.
- Cell phone alternative (such as ham radio).
- Non-domestic climate specific items (Adequate clothing for adverse weather, housing items for non-traditional weather events, and vehicle items for unusual weather conditions).
- Alternative items for trade should the need arise (Some people like precious metals, I prefer tangible items like food, water, guns, and ammo).
Obviously, this also includes fostering a non-dependency mindset. Don’t rely on others. Don’t trust the state. Connect with a community that can offer mutually-beneficial help to you during times like these. Don’t attempt to go solo.
These seem to be the main lessons from this specific event. There are certainly more but these are the first that came to mind. Feel free to expand hereafter.